Knowing The One You Serve

Scripture Reference:
Ezekiel 1

Content:
It had been 5 years since Ezekiel and his fellow countrymen were exiled by the Babylonians. Ezekiel was trained as a priest (1:3), but the hope in fulfilling his priestly role seemed bleak since he was no longer in his own beloved nation. On July 31, 593BC, he was with the Judean exiles beside the Kebar River in Babylon when the heavens were opened and he saw visions of YHWH. God showed His magnificent glory to Ezekiel, changing his life and deepening his perception of God.

God showed Ezekiel a vision consisting of:
1) 4 living beings. (1:5-14)
Each being had 4 faces (human face in the front; face of a lion on the right side; face of an ox on the left side; face of an eagle at the back) and 4 wings.

2) Wheels attached to the 4 living beings. (1:15-21)
The wheels were covered with eyes, moving in every direction and in unison.

3) Surface above the 4 living beings. (1:22-28)
The surface was like the sky, glittering like crystal. Above the surface sits a glorious throne, and on the throne is a figure of the man gleaming like fire, surrounded by a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day.

And that was what the glory of God looked like to Ezekiel. (1:28)

Interpretation:
• God remained in control even when Israel was in exile.
Israel tasted glory as a nation when God established them from King David's reign. Now, they were being brought to exile because of their rebellion. They were no longer a nation, and therefore no longer able to pride themselves in being an Israeli. It seemed that God abandoned them, and the natural train of thought would be that control was no longer in God's Hands, but the Babylonians.

Through the vision, God showed Ezekiel that He remained in control even when Israel was in exile. The face of the 4 living beings represent the chief creatures of their domains (human having dominion over all creatures; lion over all wild creatures; ox over all domesticated creatures; eagle over the birds of the air). The throne sat above the surface and the 4 living beings, explained that God remained sovereign in control over all creation, and most certainly, in Israel's situation.

• God's glory and presence was not constrained to the holy place or the holy land.
Israel thought the presence and glory of God was constrained in their land or their temple. Given that they were in a pagan, foreign place, they thought that God would not see their plight. But, God was not constrained to a place.

The wheels covered with many eyes represent that God was still in the lookout for Israel, and that His glory is movable - not confined to a holy place. Yes, in God's righteousness judgment, Israel had to face exile, but God promised that He would go with them in their exile. He would still see them through their situation.

• Ezekiel was brought to a deeper revelation of the God He served before answering his call.
What would have been going through Ezekiel's mind as he sat with his fellow countrymen? He could have thought like the exiles, thinking that they are all gone case since he had been in residing in Babylon for 5 long years. Or, he could have been channelling his questions of Israel and his own future to God, hoping that God will somehow answer.

Though the scriptures are not clear about his thoughts, there is a reason why God showed Himself to Ezekiel in that manner: To show him who exactly he is going to serve. This God He served is:

1) Far more glorious than he could have ever known.
2) Holy, sovereign and righteous. The rightful One who can deliver due judgement.
3) The all-seeing One who remains concerned over His people and would never abandon them.
4) The promise-keeping God who will not forget the convenant He made with His people.

With that magnificent vision of God as a basis, Ezekiel knew exactly who He was serving before He answered the call of God upon his life.

Application:
1) If anyone is going through a situation as result of something you have done wrong, and you really want to turn over a new leaf, know that God still remains in control over your present situation. He will be with you, walking you through - He will not abandon you!

2) God's Presence and glory is not constrained to a church building. In situations I feel hopeless about, He sees and will reveal His glory in my situation.

3) Grasp a deeper revelation of who God is. Desire for God to reveal Himself to you. Then, you will truly know the God you serve.

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